It was a hole.
A square hole. Not so square as rectangular. And not so much a deep hole as a squat depression in the cobbled stone floor. Deep enough like… when he was forced to his knees on the cold marble beneath, the water barely reached his navel… shallow then? And they had the nerve to call it a bath tub.
Scott sat, naked, his knees pulled up against his chest, arms wound around them tight. Stared straight ahead, through the windows in the ceiling thirty feet high. Was difficult to say if it was day or night. It was always dark inside the castle, except only for the candles… non-scented… hundreds of them flickering incessantly in every nook and corner. And the windows always closed, always stained so nature could never sneak in.
How many days and how many nights? Weeks? Months? Scott couldn’t tell anymore.
Like he was in a coma all over again, only conscious and aware… and under absolute control of a powerful telepath. Jean.
Not his Jean. His Jean would never do this to him.
The psyionic inhibitors planted by… the impostor… in his mind kept him calm, sedate, unable to resist. He felt too drained to do anything.
He couldn’t walk from A to B unless someone told him to do so. There was no will, no energy… no inclination toward anything except what he was ordered to do. That, and to stare off into space.
Yes, calm, sedated. And screaming inside.
A hand softly stirred the lukewarm water around him. His clear blue gaze dropped leisurely to study the ripples, ears automatically trained toward the new sound so born into his world. The hand drew nearer and nearer until it grazed his thigh. He wanted to jump, pull away only… what was the point?
At least this time it was a hand he was familiar with. Idly he followed it with his eyes as it slowly caressed its way up his arm. Gently cupping water and letting it dribble over his shivering skin.
He shook his head, slowly. What was the point? A washcloth appeared in another beautifully manicured hand. One held his shoulder and pushed. He didn’t protest as he was leaned back against the cold marble, his head falling back on a strategically placed cushion. As if they knew he was prone to doing that often... as if they knew him. But they didn’t.
His collar clanked softly against the floor at the back of his neck – a metallic strain of rose quartz and conflict diamonds specially designed to keep his powers reined in. He wondered what they’d done with his glasses, not like he’d ever need them in here.
Silken blonde hair flashed in the corner of his eyes as the silhouette in white gracefully rose then stepped into the hole next to him. He didn’t fight when hands came back to pull clenched fists from around his knees. Didn’t fight when legs were drawn apart and spread into the cooling water.
He couldn’t recall if he flinched when hands started to touch him there. Couldn’t remember if they ever stopped. He just stared out the stained glass on the ceiling… wondering if it was day or night. Every inch of his body stroked and fondled and washed and kissed. They had taken away his life, his powers, his mind… his soul they held captive inside this dark fortress. What good was this body anyway? Take it. Take whatever you want, just…
Though she held most of his psyche captive, something inside was still free… and keenly aware of everything that happened around him. Something inside him struggled, screamed, wept… but mostly it worried what they had done to his Jean.
He thought she was coming back to him… she’d called him to Alkali Lake and then… then what? He couldn’t believe he’d been tricked so easily… shapeshifter?
But to what purpose? What did Magneto want from him? And where the hell was Jean? They must have her if they managed to clone her so perfectly even Scott got fooled right. Right? Damn he couldn’t think. His head hurt if he tried.
He closed his eyes exhausted, as water was slowly trickled down his forehead into his hair. Soft auburn locks were smoothened back, tugged behind his ear and he sighed in resignation because at least that he was allowed. And because he knew what was to come next.
Soft lips lowered on his, a warm tongue softly and persistently licking them wet. And then there was teeth, worrying at his lower lip... tongue gently forcing his mouth open to continue the assault when…
Blue eyes shot open and met bluer ones. There… there was that warning tug at the base of his brain again. The other felt it too because immediately she pulled away and turned towards the intruder. Scott tilted his head forward enough to confirm what he already knew.
She was back. The impostor was back.
Hands on her hips, a familiar cold fury gracing her smirking face as she glared daggers into the couple.
Didn’t I tell you not to play with my toys without permission?
The blonde swallowed, hard, and slowly rose out of the hole. Scott didn’t move. What was the point?
Jean… no, the impostor… Phoenix she called herself… calmly strode up to his side and holding his chin in a death grip forced him to look at her. That face… so painful to watch… he winced his eyes shut.
Aww baby. You break my heart. Wont you say hi to your only love?
He opened his eyes and glared as best as he could.
You’re not Jean.
She stared at him for an eternity, eyes burning with a brand of lust he didn’t understand, and a form of rage he relished. Bet she was surprised at how he’d managed even this bit of impassioned outburst despite the inhibitors. Suddenly, hungrily she took his mouth into hers, finishing the job his caretaker started. He struggled for a few seconds before the inhibitors kicked in, crushing the not so tiny streak of rebellion with an excruciatingly painful jolt to his nervous system. His body went limp and she let go then, smiling just as cruelly.
And you’re not Cyclops. Not anymore.
No. Probably not. Yes he’d given up. What was the point?
He panted. Mutely observed as the impostor disrobed and took his caretaker’s place in the hole. She dipped two fingers into the water and it heated up immediately… almost searing hot but he didn’t fight. The woman in white now dripping wet, crouched on the floor beside, pushing the bath oils and fucking conditioners closer to where the impostor could reach them. And when she caught his eye, she stared… right into his eyes… as if trying to tell him something… something important but he didn’t bother. Why should he?
What was the point?
They never came for him.
Probably didn’t need him anymore. He… he must have moved on. Just as he did after Jean. And Ro always was the ambitious one wasn’t she? Must have made field leader now. Logan was such a horny pig, he’d seen him flirting with Storm too off and on. Guess they all got what they wanted, now that Scott was out of the way.
The tears never came, inhibitors won't let them. Scott wondered if he could will his heart to stop but obviously the damn things wouldn’t allow that either.
Gradually he figured a way to count the days and the nights. It seemed he slept pretty much all the time. But assuming his caretaker woke him up to take those damn pills at least once a day gave him mornings. And assuming the visit to the hole came just before she put him to bed gave him nights. Counting the mornings and the nights, he figured the impostor tended to visit at least once a week. Initially it was more but of late she was visiting less and less. Something, someone… was occupying her mind even when she was with him.
One night he was lying on his stomach on his bed, wide awake. Staring off through the stained glass when she came. Quietly she stretched out beside him into the bed, slipping her hand under the covers to reach his bare back. The caretaker always left him nude for bedtime. Sometimes she slept in his bed, holding him to her breast but not tonight. She probably knew the impostor was due to drop by.
I know you’re awake.
He didn’t reply. The fingers long-nailed, slowly skirted a random path down his back until they rested on the curves of his ass.
He came so close today.
Who did? Scott neglected to ask the automatic question as all his meagre mind strength focused to being deathly still, not that it’d matter if he asked. The palm opened and spread wide, drew constant, thorough circles into his skin as if claiming ownership. Wouldn’t be long before he was invaded. He didn’t move, fighting the terrified urge to clench himself.
You’re mine. I will never give you up, you hear me?
Scott could sense it. How, he could not say, but he knew.
The impostor was scared.
One fine day… or was it night? Day most likely, since the pills had just about come and gone… Scott sat at the medieval sized dining table not eating his food, and staring out the stained window. The girl sat at the other end, almost ten feet away, staring at him. She bit into an apple, chewed slowly, unwittingly holding it against the side of her flawless jaw. And just staring. He'd been dressed today in an off-white Egyptian cotton shirt and drawstring pants, matched to sheer perfection with his collar. White was her favorite color.
It wasn’t an order. He didn’t care to turn or look at her. The window was far more interesting anyway. Next thing he knew the apple was flying his way, an angry projectile headed to collide and splatter right on his face. In a flash he turned, a hand raised at the right moment intercepting the offensive fruit just before it hit him in the eye.
And then it struck him. He didn’t know if he was more shocked at the fact that she threw a fruit at him, or at the realization that he still had some reflexes left, not to mention his own volition.
He’d moved. By himself.
Scott glared at the apple, happily red in his hand, a hand that did not tremble as it held the fruit in a death grip. When he looked up at the caretaker, she was softly smiling.
"You couldn’t have done that last week."
Focus Scott focus. He could focus! It was true, this week he’d definitely been more lucid, more aware of things that were happening around him, to him. He then decided to stand up. And he did! But he felt dizzy having done so in a huge rush and flopped back on his chair again.
Of course. He had been thinking clearly when he sensed the impostor’s thoughts without her deliberate intent. He was getting control of his mind and body back which would be possible only if… the inhibitors stopped working? But who could…? His rapidly coming back to life brain supplied another fact he should have observed months ago. His caretaker never spoke much either.
You’re a telepath.
She nodded. He looked around him, the guards were nowhere in sight. He supposed they could talk but he didn’t want to risk it. Besides he wasn’t confident his vocal chords would cooperate the way his legs hadn’t. Even now his head hurt.
She took her time.
He winced. Had felt like an eternity since he'd been captured… almost relieved to know it wasn’t years or something. Almost but not quite. He looked at the beautiful face of the caretaker who’d been by his side every single moment of the past four months. Four months of weakness and helplessness…
Why did they do this to him? Why is he still alive? Why was she being so kind of a sudden? Didn’t matter, she wasn’t about to answer any whys today.
This is Magneto’s castle. Shielded from detection by…
Was that why they hadn’t come for him yet? Hope was born, and grew just that bit more when he looked at the caretaker’s softly smiling eyes again.
What… What’s your name?
Emma. Emma Frost.